Sweet Potato Rounds with Lime

Here’s a delicious and very healthy side dish for you to try. You’ll need half a dozen or more sweet potatoes, depending on size, a lime, sea salt, and some butter and olive oil. I like to add a bit of coconut oil for flavor, but not too much; it keeps them from browning.

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into rounds. I find that 3/8" thick works best. They should be fairly uniform in thickness, but you don’t have to be anal about it.

You need about 6 TBS of melted butter and olive oil, in equal measure (3 TBS each). If you add a TBS of coconut oil, cut back a little on the olive or both the olive and butter.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).

Brush some oil on the cookie sheet to grease it and place the rounds on the sheet tightly and evenly in a single layer. Brush the sweet potato rounds with the remaining oil. Salt lightly.

Put them in the oven. Turn the sheet every 20 minutes or so. They’re done when they’re caramelized; 50 minutes to an hour will do it. You may have to remove the smaller or thinner ones that cook faster before the rest are done.

Plate them up. Slice a lime and squeeze on the juice. Go easy here. You want to give them all a dash of flavor, but don’t make them soggy. Now salt to taste.

Nyeaaah, What's Up, Doc?

Carrots are very good for you. Dr. Kirsten Brandt and her team at Newcastle University in cooperation with the University of Southern Denmark and the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences have identified the compound in carrots that protects against cancer. The compound, falcarinol, protects the carrot from fungal diseases.

The researchers also conducted experiments to determine whether organic food was really any better for you. As Dr. Brandt explains, "We used to think that as long as food had adequate nutrients then it was all equally good." The research has shown that this is not the case.

One group of rats was fed organically cultivated food with low input of fertilizer and no pesticides, a second group was fed food cultivated with low input of fertilizer and with pesticides, and a third group was fed conventionally grown food with high fertilizer input and pesticides.

The rats on the organic diet enjoyed several health benefits. They slept better, had stronger immune systems, and were less fat.

So eat your carrots. And make sure they’re organic!

Fats That Kill, Fats That Heal

A lot of the information people have about fats, what’s healthy and what isn’t, is completely wrong. Most of the so-called healthy vegetable oils are way too high in Omega 6 fatty acids. Unsaturated oils are oils in which hydrogen atoms are missing from the molecule, and this leads to free radical damage.

Vegetable oil suppresses the immune system. It is in fact used to suppress the immune systems of organ transplant patients.

Almond oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola, sesame oil, sunflower seed oil... anything labeled unsaturated or polyunsaturated should be avoided. Of course, any hydrogenated oil is absolutely toxic.

What should you use? Olive oil is very good. So is butter from organic, grass-fed cattle. Even lard—provided it is not hydrogenated and comes from an organic, properly-fed source—is very good for you.

But the very healthiest oil of all is coconut.

The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are burned quickly by the body. They raise your energy level and metabolism, and do not get stored as fat. Coconut oil lowers cholesterol. The lauric acid in coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and it boosts your immune system. Coconut oil enhances your thyroid function and reduces the effects of PMS.

Unsaturated fats rancidify easily, even after ingestion. Cooking with vegetable oil speeds up rancidity. It oxidized and causes free-radical damage. Even stored at room temperature, coconut oil doesn’t go rancid for years. The heat of cooking doesn’t damage it.

Coconut oil is also excellent for your skin and hair, whether ingested or applied topically.

Make sure the coconut oil you use is cold-pressed, extra virgin, 100% organic, and NOT hydrogenated. Live healthy!

Here is some further reading for you:

Coconut Oil Studies
Antimicrobial Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil
Unsaturated Oils
Oils In Context

More information about healthy fats:

Know Your Fats

Longevity and Health


Free Hugs Campaign

This is a wonderful little video about the importance of love and caring. Connecting in a positive way with others is vitally important to good health.

So is smiling and feeling happy. I hope this video gives you a nice warm feeling.

Come on people, now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now.

Now go out and hug someone!

Chen Tai Chi

Master Jesse Tsao demonstrates some wonderful Chen Tai Chi forms.

Remember the Sky?

What were the skies like when you were young?

Meditation News and Resources

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Keep Fit!


Get Fit!

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Link Roundup


News and Information

It's a good idea to keep up with the latest news and information on health and fitness. Research is constantly being conducted to understand what effects our health, how it does so, how to avoid negative consequences, and what we can do to maintain health and fitness. New discoveries are being made all the time, and each discovery opens new door to better understanding and even more discoveries.

The internet is a treasure trove of information. Unfortunately, quite a bit of that is bad information disseminated by cranks and crackpots and those who've gotten ahold of bad information and don't know how to evalute its quality. Always check your information from any source against what is supported by peer-reviewed research and sources known to be credible.

There are many myths about soy, for instant. Some claim it is bad for you and rattle off a but of fiction in support of the claim. Concerned researched have addressed these claims again and again. The truth is, study after study has supported the beneficial effects of soy on health. But the myths continue.

One reason is that FUD—fear, uncertainty, and doubt—sells books and other merchandise, and gets viewers to your website or news station, which attracts advertisers. There are a lot of crackpots making big money selling incorrect and often harmful information and products. A good rule of thumb: trust the scientific community. Medical researchers know what they're doing. They're not in the pocket of Big Soy; these types of claims are always made by the cranks and swindlers.

Another concern is aluminum foil. Is it bad for you? Does it contribute to Alzheimer's? If it does, cooking with foil is the least of your worries. Aluminum is a very common element on this planet, and is present in the water, soil, and many of the foods we eat. It's the most abundant metal on Earth. The amount of aluminum you would get from cooking with aluminum foil is a very small fraction of the amount you ingest. 95% of the aluminum you ingest comes from food. Less than 1% of aluminum that enters your digestive system is absorbed by your body.

Keep up with the latest news, by all means, but make sure your sources are credible.

Meditation Techniques

Medical research has uncovered many benefits of meditation to the human body and mind. These tips will help you understand how to meditate correctly.

When you meditate, your body and mind are both relaxed and alert. If you just relax... well, that's not meditating. That's taking a nap. Meditation requires focus and presence. You become awareness itself, with no thoughts of judging or even interpretation. Just experiencing experience.

It takes practice to still the mind of it's chattering thoughts and fantasies. You don't want to blank your mind, though. That's a common misconception. When you learn to meditate the right way you are not a vacant, insensible mannequin. You just don't attach any importance to your thoughts. Let them come and go like clouds in the sky. Over time, the chattering will still, the clouds in your inner sky will clear.

To meditate the right way, take off your shoes, put on loose, comfortable clothing, and find a place relatively free of distractions. Distractions are a common problem for people who are just beginning to meditate. When you master the art of meditation you'll find that you can meditate on a bench next to a busy city intersection without any problem, but at first you'll want to minimize distractions as much as possible.

Sit comfortably with your back erect, but not rigid. No slouching! You can sit cross-legged on the floor or in a comfortable chair. You can close your eyes or keep them slightly open. It's helpful for the beginner to focus on something. Many focus on their breathing. You can count your breaths. One, inhale; two, exhale. Or you can repeat a word or phrase, just a bit of nonsense is best so you don't get distracted and caught up in the meaning. La-la or shi-doo is fine. This is called a mantra. There is a lot of mysticism associated with mantras, but really it's just something for a person who's beginning a meditation routine to focus on. You can also focus on parts of your body, naming them and releasing the tension in each part as you continue. Eventually you will want to simply focus on being present and experiencing the act of experiencing.

Meditation is a powerful self improvement tool to increase one's concentration, focus, and attention, and provides a very positive attitude. Start improving your life today with a relaxing and energizing meditation routine!

Eat Right, All the Time

Stop dieting! People are messing up their health with crazy diets all the time. That's no way to get healthy and fit! They'll eat nothing but grapefruit and pickles for a month in order to lose a lot of weight. It works. It's unhealthy, but you can lose a ton of weight that way. Then you get it all back and more when the diets is over and you wind up in worse shape then when you started. A few months later another fad diet comes along and it's back on the not-so-merry go round

A healthy diet is the way you eat every day for your entire life. Losing weight is a benefit, not the main goal. The main goal is to get fit and healthy and stay that way. You can't do that by bouncing on and off some diet program. So forget about dieting and just start eating healthy for the rest of your longer and healthier life.

Get Motivated To Get Fit

It can be difficult to get motivated sometimes, even to do something that you know is important to your health and well-being like starting to get fit and healthy. You know you should. You really have to do it. But it's just so much easier to put it off. Maybe tomorrow. Or next week, definitely next week. But next week comes and goes, and then another week, and another, and you still haven't started.

Well, here are a few things you can do to get that motivation revved up.

First, make realistic goals and start small. If you overreach, you're bound to fail and get discouraged. Time and again I've seen people get all excited about getting fit and healthy and go from never working out to doing forty minutes a day... until a few weeks later when they get burned out and give it up completely. Start small. Take a five or ten minute walk, or do five minutes on your ski machine every day for a week. Then go for eight. Then twelve. Build on small successes.

Find some inspiration. There are lots of people achieving what you want to achieve. Seek them out. On the web, in articles and forums and on blogs, or at the health club or gym. Put yourself in their place. Visualization is a powerful tool to help you succeed no matter what the endeavor. Make a mental image of your success and get excited about it. But don't be impatient. Instead, create anticipation with a positive attitude. You will get there. Every day is another mile on the journey. Don't just focus on the destination, enjoy the journey. Focus on the benefits. Stop negative thinking and keep a positive attitude. Don't make obstacles for yourself with, as Zig Ziglar famously put it, "Stinking thinking." Get excited by visualizing your success.

Find others who have the same goal and get some support. Join an online forum. Seek out people in your community. If you want to start bicycling, look up a bicycling club. It's always easier to keep going if you have friends to go along with you.